My grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's when I was in high school. I read everything I could find about the disease which wasn't much in the mid-80s and none of it prepared me for the day Grandmama didn't remember me. That moment stirred so many emotions and I allowed the fear of that happening again to keep me away from her. I squandered precious time and when she passed I was so disappointed in myself and how I had reacted to the disease. My mother was diagnosed about 20 years later. I was determined to do things differently and I wasn't going to let fear keep me away. Walking the Alzheimer's journey with Mom was the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life, but it was also the most rewarding. One afternoon I was sitting with Mom when she said, "Life is too short to have any regrets and it would make me sad to know you had some." I wasn't sure what she was talking about, but I thought maybe she was referring to the time I spent with her. I laid my head on her shoulder so she wouldn't see me cry and I told her, "I promise I won't have any regrets." She squeezed my hand and said, "That's my baby girl." It was such a powerful moment much like the one with my grandmother 20 years before, but this time it wasn't fear and sadness that overwhelmed, but a drive to be the best that I could be for Mom and a fight to find a cure for this disease. Alzheimer's is a thief and it's already taken too much from my family. I want a cure in my lifetime. I want to see the first survivor carrying that white flower at the Walk to End Alzheimer's. Please join me in this fight. Let's do it for Mom. No regrets.
Thank you for helping advance Alzheimer's support, care and research.
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